Suspend Gauteng police boss: Popcru

2011-08-18 18:00

Johannesburg - Gauteng Police Commissioner General Mzwandile Petros must be suspended for "lying" about the events that led to the Rosebank shooting, Popcru said on Thursday.

"The minister of police [Nathi Mthethwa] was made to tell the entire country something which is non-existing [sic]," Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) provincial secretary Matsemela Matsemela said in Johannesburg.

At the time of the shooting, it was reported that the gunman, Rosebank police station clerk David Kekana, had been dismissed after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of mishandling firearms.

Matsemela said Popcru had in fact represented him in a disciplinary hearing on a charge of unlawfully using an officer's telephone pin code without permission, that he admitted guilt and paid an amount of R475.

Popcru had been appealing on his behalf when the shooting took place, he said.

Lack of leadership

"This is extreme falsehood in our view, orchestrated by the provincial leadership of [the SA Police Service]," said Matsemela.

"There is a lack of leadership in the province," he said.

Popcru would meet police chief General Bheki Cele on Friday and would ask that Petros be suspended and investigated, Matsemela said.

Kekana turned his gun on himself after shooting Rosebank station commander Lieutenant Colonel Thandi Mkhize and Captain Neelavathi Naidu earlier this month.

He and Naidu died on the scene. Mkhize was taken to Milpark Hospital in a critical condition.

She was still in the hospital's intensive care unit on Thursday, said police station spokesperson Sergeant Bongi Mdletshe.

"We are in contact with her family and they say she is still in ICU, but she is recovering well. We will be able to see her when she is transferred to a normal ward," he said.

Condemn the shooting

Matsemela said Popcru condemned the shooting.

"As an organisation we condemn what Kekana did irrespective of the circumstances, however we don't understand the reasons why SAPS Gauteng decided to mislead the minister of police."

Popcru said it was also concerned about other recent "negative developments" involving Gauteng police.

These included the arrest of Johannesburg central cluster commander Major General Michael Mohlala and the footage of a police officer and correctional services officer having sex while on duty.

Mohlala was arrested in the Vaal Triangle last week. He was accused of making bomb threats and intimidating other officers.

He appeared in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court on Friday and was released on R10 000 bail.

"It is just unbelievable that such an outstanding, committed and hardworking cop... can be associated with such silly charges," said Matsemela.

Popcru disgusted

He said Mohlala's arrest could have been handled better.

His house was surrounded by more than 20 tactical response team members wielding R-4 rifles, while his wife and children were inside.

They acted "as if he was bin Laden", Matsemela said.

Popcru said it was "disgusted" about the video footage circulated of two officers having sex while on duty at Leratong Hospital.

"We... denounce that circulation of such barbaric, insensitive and un-African video footage," Matsemela said.

The Sowetan's publication of the pictures projected South Africa as a pornographic society, he said.

The officers' behaviour should be "spitted at by all men and women in blue and brown uniform [sic]".

The two had brought humiliation and public disrespect to the police and correctional services profession, Matsemela said.